Political Scientists

Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

Median Annual Wage: $104,920

Education: Doctoral degree (78%); Master's degree (17%); Bachelor's degree (4%)

Projected Growth: Faster than average (15% to 21%)

Related Job Titles: Technical Director; International Affairs Vice President; State-Federal Relations Deputy Director

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Political Scientists.

More Life, Physical, and Social Science Careers

  • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
  • Identify issues for research and analysis.
  • Develop and test theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, or statistical sources.
  • Maintain current knowledge of government policy decisions.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data such as election results and public opinion surveys, reporting on findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Evaluate programs and policies, and make related recommendations to institutions and organizations.
  • Write drafts of legislative proposals, and prepare speeches, correspondence, and policy papers for governmental use.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Political Scientists.

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Political Scientists.

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